Many of us really do not love our feet (believe me, I'm one of them). However, if they say that your eyes are the window to your soul, then your feet are the window to your circulatory system, nervous system, and thyroid. Although we often ignore the hairy little eye sores that carry us throughout the day, it's time we started looking down to see what's really going on with our bodies.
Hairless feet and toes
What it might mean: Serious circulation problems
There is nothing worse than hairy toes during sandal season. However, as unattractive as you may think it is, it's a sign of good health. Sudden baldness can be a sign that your feet aren’t getting enough blood flow to sustain hair growth. Expect your doctor to check for a pulse in your feet, which is another indication that your heart may not be pumping enough blood down south.
What it might mean: Plantar Fasciitis
A runner's worst nightmare... You can’t mistake it. It's that sharp pain in the bottom of the heel when you get out of bed or stand up from a chair. It’s a strain of the plantar fascia. Your podiatrist will probably tell you to ease up on your workout at first, rethink your footwear, and get a great pair of orthotics. Wiivv's custom arch and heel pad have been seen to help alleviate symptoms of plantar fasciitis.
Frequent foot cramping
What it might mean: Dehydration and nutritional deficiencies
I don't think anyone is a stranger to cramps. We've all had them, and yes they are a pain in your foot. However, if they're reoccurring and isolated to your feet, they can be as serious as a circulation and nerve problem, or as harmless as dehydration. If they persist, you might want to try upping your intake of potassium, magnesium, and calcium. If the cramps don't let up, see your doctor for testing to rule out circulation issues or nerve damage.
What it might mean: Pinched nerve
Numbness in your feet is most commonly caused by diabetes, chronic alcoholism, or a side effect of chemotherapy. If you’re experiencing neuroma, or numbness in only one foot, it could be due to a pinched nerve in the foot, ankle or back. A pinched nerve is most likely caused by years of wearing tight shoes or misalignment in your feet, knees, hips, and back. Although Wiivv orthotics can't help a pinched nerve in your foot, it can help with your alignment, helping to reduce the pressure and getting you back up and running in no time.
A sore that won’t heal
What it might mean: Diabetes or skin cancer
That stubborn sore that won't go away is actually a red flag for diabetes. Uncontrolled glucose levels in the blood can lead to nerve damage. This nerve damage can travel all the way down to your feet, which means any cut, sore, or scrape can come and go without you even knowing. Some orthotics have been seen to assist diabetic feet by helping to alleviate pain and keep you going.
Perpetually cold feet
What it might mean: Hypothyroidism
If you’re over 40, you could be living with a sluggish thyroid without even knowing it. Unfortunately, cold feet are the least of your problems... Hypothyroidism can also cause hair loss, fatigue, weight gain, and depression. Get your feet feeling toasty again by heading to your doc for a simple blood test, and you’ll start warming up shortly after starting the daily medication.
What it might mean: Inherited faulty foot structure
Thought your bunions were caused by your shoes? Stop blaming your favorite boutique, because bunions are actually a sign of a flawed foot structure. It's caused by the first bone driving towards the middle of the body, causing the ungodly, and sometimes painful bump. Unfortunately the only way to really correct it is with surgery. However, custom orthotics can help to realign your foot and alleviate pain.
*If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please consult your local physician.